As regular readers of NB know, the site's notoriety and audience has grown over time. This has been a blessing in terms of influence but also a curse to our servers. To keep things faster, we are going to be moving soon to a new commenting system which will make for some important differences when it comes to commenting on NB.
One of the things this will mean is no more need to be logged in to NB to make a comment. That's because our comments will be stored on an external server operated by Disqus, making our servers be focused solely on processing page requests. If you are a regular NB commenter, you need to read this post.
There are several advantages to the switchover which you will immediately notice:
- No more need to have separate accounts/passwords for NB if you already have one on Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, or Yahoo mail.
- Your comment will post instantaneously and you will have fewer duplicate comments.
- You'll be able to subscribe via email to any comment thread you choose. When you do so, you'll be sent emails whenever someone replies to a comment that you are tracking.
- NewsBusters will load and operate much quicker
- Tracking the previous comments of a user will become much more quicker and also allow you to see a person's comments on any site that uses Disqus
- All of the old comments using our current commenting system will be preserved
There are a few disadvantages however:
- You will have to register for an account again at Disqus.com (or reuse a Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, or Google account), your old NB account will not be able to be used for commenting
- Disqus does not currently support comment signatures (those lines of text that some people have on all of their comments)
- In order to use the Forums feature, you will need to have a NewsBusters account and be logged into it
- In order to use the Private Message feature of NB, you will need to have a NewsBusters account and be logged into it
With all of the above being said, we are considering a few alternatives:
- Making all NB user accounts deactivated once the switchover has been completed and disabling new registrations
- Disabling new account registration but allowing existing registered users to continue to access their archived messages or post forum topics
- Allowing new user registrations but making it a small, one-time fee to be given forum and private messaging privileges. Existing users would be allowed to do post forum topics and send private messages.
- Some combination of the three
What do you think? Tell us in the comments for this blog post and let us know what your preferences are.. Do you find the private messages and forum posting feature to be valuable enough that we should allow them to continue? Or could people just as well communicate via other means?